Vision, values and behaviours

Vision, values and behaviours


Clifton College was founded and led in 1862 by Revd. John Percival, a visionary intellectual Head Master who believed in science, the education of women and racial tolerance. His curriculum and activities outside the classroom developed young people who were confident without arrogance and had a sense of responsibility for others; characteristics which remain today. This is achieved through highly quality teachers that have excellent relationships with their pupils and is underpinned through continuous investment in the all-round education of pupils.

Today we continue to offer a tailored, all-round education for each child that is delivered through:

  • exceptional pastoral care,
  • inspirational teaching,
  • diverse and targeted co-curricular activities,
  • excellent facilities.


Exceptional pastoral care

From 8-18 pastoral care is House based where Housemasters and Housemistresses and their teams offer a ‘home from home’. Our Pre-Prep pupils’ pastoral care is provided by their dedicated classroom teachers. We meet the needs of each child through their own personal development programme. We have a culture that encourages participation and tolerance.

Inspirational teaching

We provide a rigorous and stimulating academic curriculum and we select teachers that lead in their field and share best practice. They encourage intellectual curiosity and independent learning, engendering academic self-belief and confidence in our pupils.

Diverse and targeted co-curricular activities

Our ethos encourages participation and all of our pupils engage with a diverse range of co-curricular activities and experiences. Through these activities we provide opportunities and challenges for pupils to find new strengths and talents and encourage collaboration. In all our activities we seek to perform at the highest level.

Excellent facilities

The College successfully combines heritage with modernity, enjoying the best of both. Landscaped greenery surrounds our magnificent Grade II listed buildings which are on the outskirts of a vibrant international city. The Chapel is one of our most cherished buildings and the Redgrave is the second largest theatre in Bristol. Our superb sporting facilities include The Close and the 90 acre site known as ‘Beggar’s Bush’ which is Bristol’s biggest outdoor sports complex providing all the latest sporting facilities.


At Clifton College we aim to produce pupils that are ‘the best possible versions of themselves’ who have 5 key attributes:

  1. Intellectually agile
    They are bright, able, good at thinking on their feet, juggling ideas and their own workload.
  2. Socially confident
    They include everyone and can communicate effectively in any environment.
  3. Leaders and team players
    When appropriate, they will take responsibility of leading or being part of a team and will interact effectively with team members to make a positive contribution.
  4. Adventurous and free-spirited
    They embrace differences, ideas, change, freedom and encourage discovery, bravery and challenge.
  5. Decent
    They are honest, kind, modest, well-mannered and act with integrity at all times.

We have 5 core values which underpin our overall culture.

  1. Liberal
    Enlightened, flexible, tolerant and open-minded.
  2. Future-thinking
    Enthusiastic, determined, and fearless.
  3. Original
    Individually distinct, creative, driven, enterprising, and optimistic.
  4. Talented
    Self-motivated, enterprising and successful.
  5. Decent
    Thoughtful and considerate.


To help develop our culture and bring to life our five core values, Clifton has developed 5 core behaviours. These are the means by which the whole community operates in and out of classroom.

5 Core values5 Core behaviours
Liberal  Tolerant and open-minded
Future-thinking Adaptable, intellectually ambitious and driven to deliver
Original Confident, questioning and exciting
Talented  Inspirational and aspirational
Decent  Good natured, thoughtful and considerate